Author to Speak on her Book About Germans From Russia: April 3 Event at Otter Tail is Free of Charge and Open to the Public

Mullally, Sonia. "Author to Speak on her Book About Germans From Russia: April 3 Event at Otter Tail is Free of Charge and Open to the Public." Pierce County Tribune, 29 March 2003, 3.

The Delta Kappa Gamma International organization has arranged for North Dakota author, Shirley Nitschke, to be in Rugby on Thursday, April 3 to speak on her book HEIMAT: Steppes of Russia.

The event will be held at the Otter Tail building at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend for no charge.

About the novel
The novel shares the fictional story of a brave and courageous woman, Helga, and her family. Helga was a German woman who lived during the last century. She, like so many Germans who eventually settled here in North Dakota, traveled to Russia with her family when she was a young girl on the promise of a new life. Once it became apparent that life was falling apart in Germany, many of her people left Europe in great turmoil.

Russia represented a new land, a new hope and a place where Germans could start a fresh life. But Russia ended up to be a disappointment, so many German-Russians fled to America for a new start. It was here in America where the Germans would put their strong will and work ethic to the test.

Helga's story is one of love and adventure. It's an immigrant's story that many from this area can relate to. It is a fictional story, based on historical research, of the Germans from Russia who chose to come to America and settle in North Dakota.

According to author Shirley Nitschke, the word HEIMAT in the title of her novel stands for everything the Germans left behind when they left Russia to settle in North Dakota -- including their schools, churches, family, friendships and heritage.

About the author
Shirley Wedner Nitschke is a first-time author and has lived in North Dakota all her life. She was born and raised on a farm near Alfred and now lives with her husband in rural Jamestown.

"I wrote the book because I was interested in finding out about how my grandparents lived on the steppes of Russia," said Nitschke. "My son came home from school one day with the question of where he came from, and that sparked my desire to find out."

Nitschke researched the journey of Germans from Russia to America for eight years produced her book the summer of 2001. "The more research I did, the more I wanted to know," she added. "I also wanted others to know about the Germans from Russia."

Her book will be available for purchase at the event.

Anyone interested is invited to attend. Share the author's enthusiasm for the story of her ancestors that mirrors many of the ancestors of those who live right here in Rugby. Enjoy an evening learning about the story of an ethnic struggle for existence that many immigrants, not just the Germans from Russia, endured.

Reprinted with permission of The Pierce County Tribune.

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